Friday, August 28, 2009

More Fan Mail on the Way

The files for fan mail and feedback forms are about to explode, so it’s time for me to send out another batch to our authors. Be watching your mailboxes in the next week or so!

I’ve been wondering what you authors do with your mail after you read it. Do you respond to each one if they provide contact info? Have you come up with any creative marketing tactics using their contact info? Have you made any new friends or “pen pals”?

Recently a letter came for Darlene Franklin, and its contents brought tears to my eyes. It was from a teen boy who seemed to be in some form of detention center. He had read her book Romanian Rhapsody and enjoyed it, but he really seemed to be searching with statements like “I don’t really know God, but I wish I did. I know how to pray. I read the Bible, but I don’t know if there is anything else I am supposed to do…..” Wow. What an opportunity to share the truth and love of Jesus and possibly turn this boy’s life in a completely new direction.

Have others of you ever received mail like this, where the fan is openly seeking Jesus after reading your book? How have you responded? I am so thrilled that our Heartsong books can help readers realize their need for Jesus, and I hope an opportunity to witness never goes to waste!


Mary Connealy said...

One letter that brought me great pleasure was from my UNCLE. He's elderly. He wrote about how much he liked my book, a real letter not a tear sheet from the back of a book, and asked to order more books with a request to 'bill me.'
I didn't know quite what to do. The presence of that letter in my fan mail packet told me it was doubtful Barbour handles COD orders.
So, I just sent him some of my own authors copies and thanked him for the nice letter.
He's a sweetheart. I doubt eldly men are HPs usual audience but who knows, my uncle wanted the books to donate to area libraries so maybe he'll talk them up and start a trend.

Mary Connealy said...

I also got a letter that you shared with me, JoAnne, about Bossy Bridegroom. A woman who had left an emotionally abusive relationship and said the book touched her, helped her see that she wasn't alone in what she'd gone through.

Edna said...

That would be so great to lead someone to Christ after their reading one of your books, or anytime for that matter. I try to witness to others but don't think I have ever been directly involved with leading them to Christ, I hope that I have helped in some way.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Some of the letters I receive just state how much they like the book and why they enjoyed it - complete with character analysis. They'll talk about the characters as if they're real people.

Some of the old ladies will start chit-chatting about their lives, telling me where they go grocery shopping and asking my advice about hair supplies! One 90-year-old lady asked if I was related to somebody named Dowdy that she knew back in the thirties.

I usually answer each lady individually. Sometimes, if they've missed my previous novels,
I'll send them one of my earlier books since I keep plenty on hand.

Aaron McCarver said...

One of the most touching letters I have received was when I wrote the series with Gilbert Morris. Similar to the one mentioned, this gentleman was a prisoner. He told us after reading the book he rededicated his life to the Lord! If I get close to getting caught up in myself with the writing, I always remind myself of that letter and Who and what the writing--and everything else really--is all about. Thanks for the reminder, JoAnne.

Vickie McDonough said...

I try to respond to each fan letter I receive. I usually send a postcard advertising one of my books and a short note. I then add them to my mailing list so I can send future mailings to them.

I've also had letters from people in jail, but I often get them a long time after they were sent. I wish we could get the personal notes forwarded to us on a more regular basis.

Darlene Franklin said...

The letter from the boy in the detention center wrenched my heart. I wrote back, and hope to hear from him again. What an awesome privilege--and responsibility. God has used me to lead others to Him in the past, but I confess I never expected Romanian Rhapsody to reach a troubled teenage boy. Praise the Lord.

Susan Page Davis said...

I always answer each letter or tearsheet (if the writer gives her address). If the packet is big, it sometimes takes me weeks to do them all. I also try to send a bookmark for the book she responded to and one for an upcoming release. One woman wanted a recipe for the tarts they cooked in Weaving a Future! I sent my grandmother's recipe. Today my own sister emailed me to say how much growth she sees in my writing, and how much she enjoyed my latest book. Those notes are such an encouragement! And, yes, lots of retired ladies write and tell me their troubles. I try to answer each one. Some of them I'll send Christmas cards. How can you not love these women?

Cara Putman said...

I just got my packet. Thanks! I write a note to each -- usually on my book postcards and for a book they haven't read. I haven't really done much more with them yet, but know I should.